Friday, January 12, 2007

Science v. Religion: Round One

So one of my students from last semester made a spirited argument the other day that the main character of the Untitled Newfoundland Zombie Project should not be a scientist but a religious studies student, on the ground that mystically animated zombies are more interesting than the dead who walk because of a viral thing.

I don't know that I grant this premise, especially with news every day (it seems) of new outbreaks of norwalk.* But that's another anxiety for another day.

Arguing the aesthetics, however, my student made a rather good point, which is that with a mystical underpinning, the climactic fight could take place in a library rather than a lab, which would make for a much creepier sequence.

Fair point.

Though I'm pretty set on having the living dead in this story being the result of an infection, I'm also pretty inclusive ... and though I keep referring to the "main character," as I've stated before, this is conceived of as an ensemble piece. So a religious-studies student gets added to the roster: I'm thinking it'll be someone who gets increasingly unhinged as the story unfolds, convinced that the zombies are the result of God's wrath and ultimately becomes a danger to the other survivors when he attempts to sabotage the epidemiology student's possible solution.

So for those keeping track, the list of established characters now includes: Meg, our science grad student, a bunch of Hanson-brothers-esque varsity hockey players, and a religious-studies student resistant to the scientific explanation for the zombies. I think I'll call him Johnny.


*When I googled "norwalk" to make sure I was getting the spelling correct, the virus was not the first hit -- the first was "Norwalk Furniture Corporation Manufacturing." Time for a business name change, perhaps ... unless their target demographic happens to be people panicking about a virus but also in need of a tasteful-yet-understated set of end tables.


Rebecca said...

I like the idea of the religious studies guy thrown in there. If you're going to follow a similar path to most zombies movies, you're going to start off with 5-7 characters anyway, and end up with just one or two. But who needs typical?
Anyways, for the tunnel sequence (if you're still going to do that bit), there's actually more tunnels under the walking tunnels that we use, with electrical, plumbing, etc. for the whole campus. I bet it's pretty scary under there. It might be a good idea for the characters to travel through those to escape the zombies in the tunnel or something.

Anonymous said...

note: the religious studies student is dashingly good looking